Cats Cage Blackbirds

Cats Cage Blackbirds

Archie Goodwin nearly had a triple-double and Alex Poythress had his fourth consecutive 20-point outing to lead Kentucky over LIU-Brooklyn 104-75 on Friday night.
Archie Goodwin nearly had a triple-double and Alex Poythress had his fourth consecutive 20-point outing to lead Kentucky over LIU-Brooklyn 104-75 on Friday night.

From Associated Press
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - If Archie Goodwin gets close to a triple-double again, the Kentucky freshman doesn't want to know.

At the rate he's going right now, that milestone isn't far away.

Goodwin scored 22 points and finished a rebound and an assist shy of a triple-double on Friday night, an effort that helped the No. 8 Wildcats run away from LIU-Brooklyn 104-75.

Winning mattered more to Goodwin than being the first Wildcat to post a triple-double since Chris Mills had 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists on Dec. 27, 1988. But at least he knows that achievement is within reach -- as long as his teammates keep it to themselves.

"I wish they wouldn't have told me, because then I started thinking too much about trying to get it," Goodwin said. "But it was still a good night. I can live with it."

Fellow freshman Alex Poythress scored 22 and grabbed nine rebounds, falling just short of his first career double-double. He and Goodwin led the way on a night that five Kentucky players scored in double figures.

Freshman forward Nerlens Noel scored 18 points and had eight rebounds for Kentucky (4-1). Graduate transfer guard Julius Mays had 15 points and six assists and freshman center Willie Cauley-Stein had 12 points for hot-shooting Kentucky, which finished 42 of 62 from the field (68 percent).

"It doesn't matter who is scoring," said Poythress, who matched his career high while posting his fourth straight 20-point game. "It just matters who is hot right now. Whoever is hot, just feed it to them and keep going to them."

The Wildcats outrebounded the Blackbirds 41-24 in winning their third straight.

But it wasn't easy early. Kentucky had to rally against LIU-Brooklyn (0-4), which led by six midway through the first half and 43-40 before the Wildcats closed the half with a 15-0 run.

The rout was on after that as Kentucky held LIU-Brooklyn to 33 percent shooting in the second half while outscoring the Blackbirds 49-32.

Julian Boyd and Jamal Olasewere each scored 22 points for the Blackbirds, who shot 42 percent overall.

"Obviously not the outcome that we were looking for," Blackbirds coach Jack Perri said. "We had about 17 minutes in the first half where we were up 42-40, 43-40 and that big run obviously turned the game around."

There were 10 lead changes and nine ties, and in some ways the game resembled what Kentucky faced in Wednesday's 81-70 victory over Morehead State.

But whereas Morehead State played tough, physical defense against Kentucky, LIU-Brooklyn came at the Wildcats with quickness and scoring. The Blackbirds averaged 81.4 points per game last season and entered Friday's game at 80.7.

For most of the first half the Blackbirds showed the same determination as the Eagles did two nights ago. Boyd got his team started by scoring eight of their first 15 points, including three straight baskets to provide a 15-13 edge.

LIU-Brooklyn wasn't afraid to take it inside against Kentucky's big men, either.

Olasewere had a dunk and converted a three-point play after a drive on Noel. Boyd added baskets inside and outside and quick 6-foot guard Jason Brickman came off the bench to contribute a couple of shots en route to an eight-point half.

The result was LIU-Brooklyn's biggest lead at 32-26, creating some uneasiness among the Rupp Arena crowd of 22,221.

"That's why we wanted to play these kind of teams that would come after us, not be afraid, come in here with the attitude that they could win," Kentucky coach John Calipari said.

An 8-2 run helped the Wildcats tie the game at 34 and the teams traded baskets for several minutes before the Blackbirds took their final lead at 43-40 with four minutes remaining in the half. Kentucky closed with 15 straight points over the final 3:30 with the freshmen playing a big role -- especially Goodwin, who scored six of his 15 over that stretch.

"We just started playing harder and with more intensity and that's what helped us," Kentucky guard Jarrod Polson said.

The Wildcats finished the half 23 of 33 (67 percent). LIU-Brooklyn shot 48 percent but missed its last seven.

Kentucky opened the second half with a 13-8 run over 3:54 to break the game wide open.

"It doesn't matter if they are big or small," Boyd said. "You have to stick to the game plan and we just have to play better from here on out."

The Wildcats were more careful with the ball, committing just 10 turnovers while finishing with 28 assists.

LIU Brooklyn at No. 8/7 Kentucky
Men’s Basketball Post-Game Notes
Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky., November 23, 2012
Attendance: 22,221

FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 104, LIU Brooklyn 75

Team Records and Series Notes
    Kentucky is 3-1 on the season and LIU Brooklyn is 0-4.
    Kentucky now leads the all-time series against LIU Brooklyn 3-1, including winning three consecutive meetings against the Blackbirds.
    The win increases UK’s all-time record against teams from the Northeast Conference to 5-1, while head coach John Calipari is now 3-0 against teams from the NEC.
    The game concluded a three-game home stand for the Wildcats. Kentucky will hit the road Thursday facing Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., as part of the SEC/Big East Challenge. The game is at 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.
    Kentucky is in its 110th season of basketball and is the NCAA leader in wins with 2,094.

First-Half Facts
    Kentucky started with the lineup of Archie Goodwin, Julius Mays, Alex Poythress, Kyle Wiltjer and Nerlens Noel for the fourth-consecutive game. UK is 3-1 when it starts that lineup.
    Mays got the game’s first basket at 19:36 on an open jumper at the free throw line.  
    The two teams exchanged baskets for the first five minutes of the game, sitting at a 15-15 tie at the first media timeout.
    LIU Brooklyn took a six-point lead – their largest of the half – with just under 10 minutes to go in the game before Kentucky fought back to take a 40-38 lead at the under 8 minute timeout. It was Kentucky’s first lead since they led 11-9 with 16:47 to go in the first half.
    LIU Brooklyn went on a 5-0 run between the under 8 minute timeout and the under 4 minute timeout to take back the lead 43-40.
    Kentucky answered with a 15-0 run to end the first half with a 55-43 lead. 
    The Wildcats’ 55 points in the first half was the most points in a half – first or second – for UK this season.
    The 15-0 run was the sixth 10-0 or more run for UK this season.
    In all, the first half had nine ties and 10 lead changes.
    Kentucky’s 69.7 field goal percentage in the first half was the highest field goal percentage in a half for UK all season.

Second-Half Story
    Kentucky held LIU Brooklyn without a field goal for the final four minutes of the first half and the first 2:36 of the second half, totaling 6:36 second without a field goal. 
    Kentucky trailed 43-40 with four minutes to play in the first half. Over the next 10 minutes of game time (end of first half and beginning of second half) UK went on a 37-9 run to take a commanding 77-52 lead with 13:32 to go in the game.
    The Wildcats shot 65.5 percent from the field in the second half, including 5-of-10 from 3-point land with 13 assists.
 
Team Notes
    Kentucky posted 104 points in the game, which was the highest point output for UK this season. The 104 points were the highest since UK posted 108 against Marist in the 2011-12 season opener.
    Kentucky shot a season-best 67.7 percent from the field in the game. That was the highest field goal percentage for UK in the Coach Cal Era and the highest since UK posted a 68.7% mark in 2008-09 against Kansas State (Nov. 28, 2008).
    The Wildcats had a season-high 28 assists in the game, which was the most assists for a Kentucky team since UK had 28 assists in the 2009-10 season against UNC Asheville (Nov. 30, 2009).
    Archie Goodwin hit a 3-point shot early in the first half, extending UK’s streak of games with a 3-point shot made to 832. That is the third-longest streak in the nation.
    The Wildcats extended their home winning streak to 55 games, the longest active streak in the nation. The run includes the 2009 NIT game at Memorial Coliseum and the last 54 games at Rupp Arena.
    UK is a perfect 54-0 under Calipari at Rupp Arena, the longest win streak in venue history.
    Kentucky has won 34 consecutive home games against non-conference teams. The last UK home loss to a non-conference foe was vs. No. 21 Miami (Fla.) Dec. 6, 2008.

Individual Notes
    Archie Goodwin ended the game with 22 points. He has scored in double figures in each of the first five games this season becoming the third freshman in the Coach Cal Era to do so in their first give games wearing the UK uniform. Terrence Jones and John Wall were the other two players to do so.
    Goodwin also had a season-high in assists (nine), steals (two) and rebounds (nine).

    Alex Poythress scored 22 points in the game to tie a season-high. The game marked the fourth-consecutive 20-plus point night for the freshman star, who becomes the first UK player to score 20-plus points in four-consecutive games since Jodie Meeks did it in nine-consecutive games in the 2008-09 season. Poythress also hit his first two free throws in the game, extending his streak of consecutive free-throws made to 11.
    Poythress is the first UK freshman to record 20-plus points in four consecutive games since Dwight Anderson in 1978-79.

    In addition to his season-high 18 points, Nerlens Noel had five assists and five blocks in the game. Noel has earned four-plus assists in each of the last three games and three-plus blocks in four of five games this season.
    Noel’s five assists in the game was a season high.

    Julius Mays hit his first two attempted shots in the game, including a 3-pointer. Mays, who has now hit at least one 3-point shot in every game this season, ended the game 3-for-6 from 3, marking the first time this season he has hit two or more 3s in a game.
    Mays’ 15 points is the highest for the graduate student in his time at Kentucky.

    Kyle Wiltjer went 1-for-4 from 3-point land. The sophomore has hit a 3 in every game this season. Wiltjer also had five assists, which was a career-high.

    Willie Cauley-Stein recorded 12 points in the game on 5-of-7 shooting. Cauley-Stein had a season-high eight rebounds in the game on top of a season-high tying four blocks. 

    Jon Hood hit his first 3-pointer of the season in the game, finishing with three points, one rebound and two steals in seven minutes of play. Hood’s 3-pointer was his first since Dec. 28, 2010.

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